Named as the greatest Swedish footballer of the last 50 years at the UEFA Jubilee Awards, Henrik Larsson was undoubtedly one of the best strikers of his time. In this article, we take a look at his biography.
Henrik Larsson, born on 20 September 1971 in Helsingborg, Sweden, is a Swedish football coach and former football player. He enjoyed the best years of his career with Celtic Glasgow, where he played for seven years (1997-2004). Between 2004 and 2006 he played for Barcelona, winning a Champions League title, while he had previously spent four seasons at Feyenoord.
He also wore the Manchester United shirt in 2007. On 20 October 2009, he announced his decision to retire from playing football at the end of the season; he then started a career as a coach.
He is the only Swedish footballer to have participated in six finals of a major national tournament (European Championship and World Cup). In June 2009 he was a tournament ambassador of the European Under-21 Championship in Sweden. He is the third top scorer in Celtic's history. He broke the record for the most European goals (31) scored by a British club player with the Celtic, in the match against MTK Budapest (4-0) on 13 August 2003.
He is regarded as one of the best Swedish footballers in history, with a career spanning 765 games and 433 goals in official club matches and 106 appearances and 37 goals in the senior national team. On 2 June 2011, a statue was built in his honour on the waterfront in Helsingborg.
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On 14 May 2005, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Strathclyde - in Glasgow, Scotland - for his contribution to sport and charity. He received the Order of the British Empire on 9 May 2006 at the request of Celtic supporters and awarded by Queen Elizabeth II, accrediting him as a Member of the British Empire, for his contribution to football in the UK, although it is a title that is rarely awarded to foreign civilians.
Now that we know him much better, it is time to share some more general information about him such as
Henrik Larsson nationality
to let you get more familiar with him.
Henrik Larsson Bio
Full Name: Henrik Edward Larsson
Nickname: The King of Kings
Profession: Professional Footballer
Henrik Larsson Physical Stats
Weight: 72 Kg
Height: 1.75 m
Eye Color: Dark brown
Hair Color: Dark brown
Henrik Larsson Football Information
Jersey Number: 7
Professional Debut: 1989
Henrik Larsson Date of Birth and Personal Info
Date of Birth: 20 September 1971
Birth Place: Helsingborg, Sweden
Zodiac Sign: Virgo
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Henrik Larsson childhood
Larsson started playing football at the age of five. He soon joined the amateur club Hogaborgs BK, where he made his first-team debut at the age of 17. Alongside his football career, Henrik worked in a supermarket, packing goods.
His first professional club was Helsingborg, which he joined in 1992. Scoring 31 goals in his first season there, Larsson helped his club to reach the first division. With 16 goals the next year, 22-year old Henrik became the Swedish club's third leading scorer. Now stay tuned as we want to take a deeper look at
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In the summer of 1993, he joined theFeyenoord
Rotterdam, where he formed a formidable attacking trio with his colleagues Regi Blinker and Gaston Taument. In 4 years, he won 2 Dutch Cups, notably in 1994-1995 against rivalAjax
Amsterdam in the quarter-finals (3-1 after extra time). This was Ajax's one and only defeat that season.
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In 1997 he arrived at Celtic, in Scotland: it was on 25 July 1997 when the green-and-white team paid 650,000 pounds to buy the Swedish striker. At his debut, his mistake was decisive for the goal of Chic Charnley of Hibernian who won 2-1. In the 1997-1998 season, Larsson scored 16 goals in 35 games in the Scottish Premiership winning the league title and Scottish League Cup. The following season he scored 29 goals in 35 league games.
At the start of the 1999-2000 season, on 21 October 1999, Celtic facedLyon
in a UEFA Cup match. After 10 minutes, he collided with French defender Serge Blanc and fractured his leg in two places, breaking his tibia and fibula. The match ended 1-0 to Lyon thanks to a goal from Blanc himself, who said at the end of the match: "It was a totally unintentional collision. I tried to move, but he was right in front of me. We were running together and I didn't see him in front of me, so the contact was inevitable". Celtic coach John Charles Barnes said: "In the dressing room the players were down, more because of the injury than the defeat". That season Larsson scored 8 times in 9 league matches and won the Scottish League Cup.
After recovering from injury, he returned in the 2000-01 season: he scored 35 goals in 37 games, winning the 2001 Golden Shoe, which was presented to him during the Football Gala in Munich by UEFA president Lennart Johansson. On 27 August 2000, Celtic beatRangers
6-2 at Celtic Park, and Larsson scored two goals, the first of which was a magnificent lob past two players.
In that year Celtic won theScottish Premiership
, the Scottish Cup and theScottish League Cup
. He scored 29 goals in 33 games in the 2001-2002 season where he won the Scottish Premiership again.
In 2002-2003 he scored 28 goals in 35 league games. In the same year, Celtic reached the UEFA Cup final against Portuguese sidePorto
, who won the game 3-2 after scoring the decisive goal in extra time. Larsson scored both of the team's goals. The following season, 2003-04, he scored 30 goals in 37 matches, winning the Scottish Premiership and Scottish Cup again.
At the end of the 2003-2004 season, with his contract expiring, he opted to leave Celtic to try the adventure in Spain. Larsson left the Scottish green-and-white team after scoring 173 official league goals, the most prolific scorer in Scottish league history. In total goal tally, Larsson scored 242 goals in 314 games for Celtic.
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In 2004-2005 he moved toBarcelona
. He scored 3 goals in 12La Liga
matches and one goal in 4Champions League
matches, which he scored againstCeltic
. On that occasion, the Swede did not celebrate, and stated at the end of the match: "It was very difficult to celebrate my goal because I lived many good moments at Celtic".
At the age of 33, he injured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the league match againstReal Madrid
(won 3-0 by Barcelona), as well as the meniscus in his left knee. The Spanish club extended his contract until June 2006. In 2004-2005 Barcelona became La Liga champions.
After recovering from this injury, he returned to the field in the 2005-2006 season and won theSpanish Super Cup
and the Copa Catalunya. In November 2005 he was named the best Swedish player in the last 50 years. After reaching the Champions League final in Paris with Barcelona on 17 May 2006, Larsson started from the bench. He came on when the second half had already started, and when Arsenal were 0-1 down, he came on and provided both assists, first for Eto'o and then for Belletti, for the two goals that allowed Barcelona to become European Champions.
In November 2006 he decided to leave the Spanish team at the end of the season, returning to his hometown team, Helsingborg. The Paris final against Arsenal was Henrik's last match in the Barcelona shirt, where he scored 15 goals in 54 official matches.
After his contract with the Catalan club expired, Larsson decided to return to his hometown club Helsingborg. He played the second half of the 2006 season with the Swedish team, where he helped them win the Swedish Cup.
In the winter of 2007, taking advantage of the Swedish league break, Larsson accepted a loan request fromManchester United
, with whom he played 13 official matches, scoring 3 goals. At the end of the season, the Red Devils won the Premier League.
At the end of his time in England, he returned to Sweden to join Helsingborg, where he finished his career as a player. The last match he played was Helsingborg-Djurgården in the Swedish league where he lost 0-2 on 28th October 2009. In the end, he scored a total of 70 goals in 129 official appearances with the red-blue shirt.
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He was called up bySweden
for the first time in 1993 for the 1994World Cup
qualifying match againstFinland
in Helsinki and scored the 2-1 goal (the match ended 3-1 to Sweden). Larsson showed great commitment to the Swedish jersey and was instrumental in Sweden's third-place finish at the 1994 World Cup, scoring in the quarter-finals, one of six penalty kicks against Romania, and in the third-place final, scoring the 3-0 goal in a 4-0 win over Bulgaria. At Euro 2000 he scored a goal against Italy, but the game ended 2-1 to the Italians and Sweden failed to get past the group stage. At the 2002 World Cup, he scored 3 goals for Sweden.
In 2003 he retired from the Swedish national team with 73 appearances and 24 goals to his credit. Before Euro 2004, he returned to the national team. He scored three goals in the European Championship, including a header in Sweden's 5-0 win over Bulgaria. In Portugal, Sweden reached the quarter-finals, where they were eliminated by the Netherlands on penalties. Larsson was then included in the competition's dream team.
At the 2006 World Cup in Germany, he played all three games in the group stage and scored the equalizer against England, which made it 2-2 and qualified Sweden for the round of 16. In the round of 16, Sweden lost against Germany, where Larrson missed a penalty kick. This marked his second retirement from the national team.
Two years after his last appearance with the national team, Henrik Larsson was called up for Euro 2008. With this participation, he completed six international competitions in which he took part, namely three European Championships (2000, 2004, 2008) and three World Cups (1994, 2002, 2006).
Larsson returned as Sweden captain, taking over the captain's armband from Fredrik Ljungberg, who decided to leave the national team. After the 10 October match against Denmark, which was lost 1-0, Larsson announced his retirement from the national team. He was supposed to play his last match against Albania, but due to the untimely death of his brother Robert, this was not possible. At 38 years and 24 days, Larsson became the oldest Swedish footballer to wear the Swedish national team jersey.
Larsson was coach of the Swedish second division team Landskrona BoIS from the 2010 season. After a fifth-place finish in the first year, the team slipped to the lower part of the table in the 2011 season. The following season, the team finished sixth in the league. After three seasons, the club and Larsson parted ways at the end of 2012. To continue his coaching education, he joined the coaching staff of his youth club Hogaborgs BK for the 2013 season.
On 5 December 2013, Larsson took over as coach at newly promoted first division side Falkenbergs FF, replacing promoted coach Hans Eklund, who had taken over Kalmar FF. He led the team to a relegation place in the 2014 season but did not renew his expiring contract.
In mid-November 2014, a few days after the end of the season, his former club Helsingborgs IF hired him as their new manager. However, this deal ended on 23 November 2016. On 15 June 2019, club officials announced that Henrik Larsson would once again take over as coach, from which he had already resigned at the end of August following some verbal abuse from his own fan base. Larsson was appointed manager for the 2020/21 season.
In the 2020/21 season, Larsson became assistant coach to Ronald Koeman at FC Barcelona, along with Alfred Schreuder. Now stay tuned as we want to take a deeper look at Henrik Larsson biography and share more information about his playing style.
Henrik Larsson was a very physically strong striker with an exceptional technique. Some pundits describe him as a classic player who attacked at the spaces. Henrik Larsson’s preferred foot was the right, but he was also fearsome on the left. He was excellent with his head and scored some great goals with his head. Throughout his career, he frequently assisted goals to his teammates.
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Manu football fans, critics and many of his teammates consider Henrik Larsson as one of the best players in the history of Swedish football and the best Swedish striker of all time. He was named the best Swedish footballer in the last 50 years at the UEFA Jubilee Awards.
As one of the best European strikers ever, Henrik Larsson has scored many goals during his club and international career. One of the trademark goal celebrations he had during his career was his sticking out of his tongue goal celebration. After scoring goals just simply stick out his tongue, running to the fans in joy. In 2004, Larsson announced that he ditched his signature goal celebration after getting letters from angry parents that their children are copying his antics.
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In November 2008, Larsson surprisingly joined the floorball club FC Helsingborg's squad without signing a contract. He made his debut in the Swedish Super League against Jönköpings IK on 23 November 2008. Also in the 1989/1990 season, he played seven matches in the Swedish Championship series and then scored six goals. Even then, it was in FC Helsingborg that he played a few games for Viskan HBK. In addition, he has also played floorball for Ramlösa.
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Henrik Larsson life story
Henrik Larsson religion
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Henrik Larsson's mother is Swedish and his father Francisco Rocha comes from Boavista, one of the Cape Verde islands off the coast of West Africa. Larsson grew up at Narlunda in Helsingborg. His mother worked in a factory and his father was a sailor. Larsson grew up as an intermediate child of three brothers, of whom the youngest is deceased.
Henrik Larsson met his girlfriend Magdalena Spjuth in a restaurant when he was just 19 years old, the couple decided to tie the knot on 21 June 1996, when Henrik was 25 years old. Her wife’s parents both worked at a local municipality, her dad was also a politician.
Larsson and his wife have two children. Their son Jordan Larsson, who is also a football player, and Janelle Larsson. Janelle Larsson was born in Scotland in 2002 and has competed successfully in horse jumping at the junior level, including in the junior national team.
Henrik Larsson is very active when it comes to charitable works. Since retiring, we have seen him play in lots of charity matches and he is a regular player in all of the Celtic charity matches.
There are not any records of legal issues or disputes regarding Henrik Larsson on media. However, Larsson won a legal issue with Feyenoord which enabled him to leave the Dutch team if he received an offer more than 600 thousand pounds.
In this section of Henrik Larsson biography, we will take a deeper look into his career stats both as a player and football coach. Stay tuned!
Henrik Larsson is one of the footballers with a very long club career of 23 years which lasted between 1989 and 2013. During all these years, he has played a total of 768 matches and scored 434 goals. In 7 seasons of playing for Celtic, he scored 242 goals for the Scottish giants in 313 matches.
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For 16 years between 1993 and 2009, Henrik Larsson has played a total of 106 matches and scored 37 goals. He scored his first international goal on 13 October 1993 against Finland, on 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifier. On 20 August 2008, in a friendly match against France, Henrik Larsson his 37th and last international goal for Sweden.
During his career as a head coach, Henrik Larsson has managed three teams including Landskrona BoIS, Falkenberg and Helsingborg in a total of 193 matches. His team has won 69 of them, drawn 37 and lost on 87 occasions. His overall win ratio is about 35.75 percent.
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Henrik Larsson is one of the most decorated Swedish footballers of all time. During his club career, he has won many awards including KNVB Cup, Scottish Premier League, Scottish Cup, Scottish League Cup, La Liga, Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Champions League and English Premier League among others.
He has also was third-placed on 1994 FIFA World Cup with Sweden.
Of his notable individual awards, we can mention Guldbollen, Swedish Forward of the Year, Scottish Premier League Golden Boot, SFWA Footballer of the Year, SPFA Players' Player of the Year, European Golden Boot, UEFA Centurion Award and Scottish Football Hall of Fame among many others.
As a manager, he has never won any titles or awards so far.